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History Turnpike Cruiser/bubble Skirts on late 50's styled customs

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Roothawg, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. fordcoupeguy
    Joined: Apr 26, 2014
    Posts: 111

    fordcoupeguy
    Member

    Its simple IMHO. Mid 50s Ford sedans-factory or cruiser. Converts,hardtops,Crown Vics-factory,cruiser or bubble. All must be lowered. Its all about the roof line.
     
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  2. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,120

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    Notice how the low IMG_20200228_0001.jpg dip in the skirt hides the rear tire. Creating the low look --the leasdSLED. . IMG_20200229_0001.jpg
     
  3. The Shift Wizard
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 1,880

    The Shift Wizard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I think skirts in general, bubble/over/inside, etc., are a spin-off of the rocket ship craze that started after WWII and reached a peak by the end of the '50s when some of the factory styles were even surpassing the customs. It must have been fun times for stylists and customizers, both.
     
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  4. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,343

    Roothawg
    Member

    The atomic era was a great time for styling. Everything from houses to cars and furniture.
     
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  5. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,120

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

  6. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,120

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

  7. straykatkustoms
    Joined: Oct 30, 2001
    Posts: 11,892

    straykatkustoms
    Member

    Thanks for posting the pics Tequila Sunrise. I've always like this shoe box. It would be kool to see this one in person I hadn't had the chance. I think that it is in the Oklahoma City area.
     
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  8. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,120

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

  9. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,343

    Roothawg
    Member

    These look like stock skirts but have been lengthened through the middle. [​IMG]
     
  10. straykatkustoms
    Joined: Oct 30, 2001
    Posts: 11,892

    straykatkustoms
    Member

    I like it.... How about grafting a '51 Merc bottom lip to the skirt..
     
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  11. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,343

    Roothawg
    Member

    That’s an option.
     
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  12. Von Brush
    Joined: Nov 20, 2016
    Posts: 78

    Von Brush
    Member
    from Corfu, NY



    I had to chime in after seeing all the knocks about bubble skirts. I have an east coast bias. In the east all customs had to have skirts. In my 78 year old opinion sedans look best with factory skirts. 55 -56
    Fords look good with cruisers if they are hardtops or convertibles. 57 Fords as well. As far as bubbles go l am a big fan but only if they flow with the body lines. That's why l chose them for my 57 Chevy. I've patterned my convertible after Dave Jenkins hardtop and love the look. I know skirts were not as popular out west but not everyone is from California.. In the east we liked the rear end low and skirts.. DSCF0181~2.JPG

    Sent from my 9024W using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  13. ^^ Von Brush, your Bel Air has THE East Coast Look. Pretty cool.
     
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  14. Nothing to brag about but my first car back in high school. Still have it and in the middle of a frame off build.
     

    Attached Files:

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  15. slim38
    Joined: Dec 27, 2015
    Posts: 357

    slim38
    Member
    from Sudan TX
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    received_194435144863700.jpeg Skirts are the way to go.
     
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  16. Y-Blokkah
    Joined: Oct 19, 2012
    Posts: 136

    Y-Blokkah
    Member
    from Anna, Tx

    The problem with aftermarket flush skirts on a 55-56 is they all have that stupid looking big assed flare on the bottom that looks like 70s bell bottoms.

    I grew up with 55-56 Fords and ran them for years. There’s nothing better looking in my eye than a 56 Vicky (not Crown) taildragger with a 55 grille and non lipped deep flush skirts.
    And no stupid big chrome ghetto wheels and dumb ass rubber band tires either. Whoever thought of that stupid fad should be keelhauled.

    Why screw with success? Ford got it right in 55-56. Mild help can improve things. Mold the headlight doors in, smooth the doors, etc. but the 55 airplane sorta looks good to me. Never been a bullnose fan, although if it’s peaked a bit, it’s cool. Customization is supposed to be to improve the lines, not just make it look custom, stupid, or both. Other than stock, the only side trim that looks good on a 55-56 is the 55 Poncho.
    The stupidest looking 55-56 I ever saw was an otherwise stock 55 Crown but the guy went all East Coast and extended the factory quarters around the continental kit. And used one of those stupid looking modern radial tire sized tire covers on his cont kit. You know, the square cornered ones. Looked like a placentaburger to me.

    Adding factory bling ain’t custom. Most of that crap screws with the lines of the car. If you want to add or subtract anything, stand back and look at it first. Better yet, take a few pics from different angles and blot out the offending piece. Or scotch it and screw with it a bit.

    Traditional all the way is the only way. You wanna build mild custom? Cool, build it like we did in high school when we were broke dick poor.
     
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  17. Placentaburger?! That is iconic!!!
     
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  18. Y-Blokkah
    Joined: Oct 19, 2012
    Posts: 136

    Y-Blokkah
    Member
    from Anna, Tx

    I’ll add...
    High roof Ford, no skirts. They look killer and just plain mean.
    Low roof, slam the ass end and smooth the rear with deep flush skirts without the bottom lip.
    Henry thoughtfully gave you 80% of the factory built in Turnpike Cruiser skirts. The deep, smooth, flush skirts complete the look.
     
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  19. Y-Blokkah
    Joined: Oct 19, 2012
    Posts: 136

    Y-Blokkah
    Member
    from Anna, Tx

    Oh hell yeah! That’s bad ass. High roof and the black primer does it for me. Cruisers, whatever.
    Leave them on. If you took em off it’d be way too cool for me to even look at.
     
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  20. What do you think of the factory option sun visor and factory spot lights? I have it all alomg with continental kit and 56 merc wagon tail lights. I dont think you are a fan of the continental kits but hey...I was very yound and cleared the account for it. This was in high school and I cut two coils from the front and took two leafs from each side of the rear and flipped the shackles. It was gnarly. I havent driven it since. Now its body off and the frame was mini c notched and is on air. Everything is powder coated. The car had a factory 223/fordomatic that was junk. So I have a 292/fordomatic for it now along with edelbrock valve covers and intake. I have a ton of "stuff" for it. @Y-Blokkah
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
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  21. Y-Blokkah
    Joined: Oct 19, 2012
    Posts: 136

    Y-Blokkah
    Member
    from Anna, Tx

    My first car was a 55 Fairlane 2 door sedan that ended up with a 71 Cleveland 4 barrel heads and a C6.
    Big and little Cragar SS, Blackwell’s, and flipped the shackles. A typical kids car.
    My second was a 55 Crown with a Canadian continental kit. Factory skirts and remote spots. It looked cool. Smooth, and the rake of the kit perfectly matched the rake of the basket handle. But it was cliché for the day. And looking back, it was what I wanted then. The 56 Monarch in my avatar was cool, but too big. Of all the stuff I had, I want my first 55 Fairlane back. This time, built 292 With a cut down 312 crank, and a T5, my only nod to modern.

    There’s a place for Continental kits and spots. But they were so overdone, to me they lost their charm.

    Today, the wife drives a 55 F100 and I got a 59 Bird ragtop. OK, no smart ass remarks, I got the squarebird cheap!

    Here’s a pic of me and my first 55. I’m driving of course, and we just got a weekend pass. We’re off to chase some serious tail. I got more poon in that car in a week than most guys managed in a year.

    [​IMG]
    Check out the tombstone seat backs. I once thought that was cool. Not a custom, but a Cali raked car that passed everything but a gas station.
    I miss that one BAD.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020 at 7:57 PM
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  22. Thats rad!! I have a 60 f100 short bed custom cab big window factory 292/fordomatic. Im in the middle of cknverting it to the Canadian "m100" I have just about everything for it. Had some challenges getting these parts but I have canadian friends so its all good. Also for the 56 mainline I have australian friends and I aquired everything to convert to rhd. I know I know....not traditional but hey its not a for sure thing. @Y-Blokkah
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020 at 12:19 AM
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  23. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,343

    Roothawg
    Member

    I am leaning towards factory skirts that have been lengthened or turnpike cruiser skirts. Bubble skirts are out. Stock height factory skirts are out.
     
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  24. Y-Blokkah
    Joined: Oct 19, 2012
    Posts: 136

    Y-Blokkah
    Member
    from Anna, Tx

    Now THIS is what I’m talking about! Lose the lip/flare on the skirt bottoms and that be damn near a rolling orgasm.
     
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  25. Y-Blokkah
    Joined: Oct 19, 2012
    Posts: 136

    Y-Blokkah
    Member
    from Anna, Tx

    WTF is this!?!? Good GAWD, man! Tortured metal!
     
  26. Y-Blokkah
    Joined: Oct 19, 2012
    Posts: 136

    Y-Blokkah
    Member
    from Anna, Tx

    One of my DON’T rules is something many do. Personal taste here again, but why on God’s green earth would you put cruiser or bubbles on factory gifted already built in cruiser/bubbles?

    49-54 Chevy, pre 55 Mopar, 52-54 Ford, Merc, Lincoln, 55-56 Merc, the manufacturer gave you factory bubbles already. Why train wreck the whole thing by adding another layer on top? Accentuate what’s there, don’t add another layer and give it rolls like a 600 lb WalMart lady.
     
  27. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,343

    Roothawg
    Member

    The lip is by design. I think the tire will hit otherwise.
     
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  28. Y-Blokkah
    Joined: Oct 19, 2012
    Posts: 136

    Y-Blokkah
    Member
    from Anna, Tx

    You’re right. But it can be disguised a bit as to not be so obvious. The lip always seems to interrupt the flow, and to my eyes at least, with a traditional custom, long smooth, and low wins every time.
    Extra crap hanging off the car ruins the look. Spots, mirrors, antennas, (some) visors, drip guards, etc, break up and take away from the look.
    To me, even fins need to flow. Tacked on 57 Dodge or Stude Hawk fins look like tacked on Dodge or Hawk fins. 57 New Yorkers on the other hand, got to right. Too bad they screwed the top up and took the Plymouth roof away. :(

    But what the hell do I know. Each to their own, of course, but I know what revs my motor, and low, sleek, and smooth wins everyday.
     
  29. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,343

    Roothawg
    Member

    That's my take also. I am new to the custom world. I mainly build 50's-60's drag car inspired stuff and 35-36 pickups. I appreciate the input.
     
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  30. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,422

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    That's sort of the beauty of it, that there is no right or wrong answer. A custom is just that, and its custom to your taste and preferences. As long as you keep your theme cohesive, the car is a blank canvas for you to be as creative as you want.
     
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